NY state troopers to start using body-worn cameras

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last June requiring state troopers to wear body-worn cameras

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

ALBANY, N.Y. — Roll camera!

New York State Police troopers will be finally be getting body-worn cameras, Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday.

The first batch of cameras will be distributed to troopers working in Albany beginning this month, officials said.

Troopers throughout the state should be receiving the cameras by the fall with members in and around New York City and Long Island receiving them during the summer, officials said.

The move comes almost three years after the NYPD adopted a body-worn camera program. Cops in other municipalities, such as Buffalo, have followed suit.

Cuomo signed legislation requiring state troopers to wear body-worn cameras last June.

“At this highly critical time for the relationship between police and the communities they serve across the state, I am proud that we are implementing this program as police agencies statewide do the important work of reimagining their work and repairing trust in the criminal justice system,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement.

The legislation, he said, is part of a “progressive package of reforms that will increase transparency in policing and accountability among all law enforcement agencies statewide.”

About 3,000 cameras will be purchased from Axon, with the company providing secure cloud video storage, software and technical support at a cost of $7.6 million a year.

State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin Bruen hailed the roll out.

“Body-worn cameras are an important tool that will not only reinforce public confidence in the great work our troopers do each and every day, but will also serve as a critically important investigative tool,” Bruen said. “The use of this technology will provide real benefits to the communities we serve.”

Troopers will be required to begin recording when they exit a patrol vehicle to interact with someone. All arrests, summonses, searches, and interactions should be recorded, according to the new mandate.

The NYPD rolled out its first group of camera-equipped cops in April 2017 as part of a pilot program after a federal judge found in 2013 that the city’s use of the stop-and-frisk tactic was unconstitutional and targeted a disproportionate number of Black people and Latinos while taking relatively few guns off the street.

Every NYPD officer was equipped with a body-worn camera by the end of 2018.

(c)2021 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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